Fit Headless Displayport Adapter

If you’re like me, you Remote Desktop into various computers all the time. At work I remote to a Windows 7 PC every day to access our ticketing software, at home I remote into my media server all the time. Both of these machines are ‘headless’ in that they don’t have a monitor connected.

A common issue with headless systems (especially on Macs) is that Remote Desktop won’t function correctly without a monitor connected. The Fit headless adapter solves this problem.

Priced for just $17 on Amazon, this small adapter plugs into a DisplayPort or MiniDisplayPort and functions as a dummy monitor. This is obviously useful not only in making Remote Desktop fully functional, but it also allows a remote computer to drive a higher resolution.

In the box, the FitPC contains the adapter itself, and a DisplayPort to minidisplayport adapter. Some 30 different resolutions are supported - up to 4K. No drivers or installation is required - simply plug the Fit Headless into your remote computer, and you’re finished.

I’ve been aware of these types of adapters for some time. Typically I see them priced from $40 up, so the mere $17 for the Fit Headless is a steal. I’ve been using it for a month or so and am completely satisfied with it. It’s a plug and play adapter that works like it says on the tin.

TL;DR - got a stubborn headless computer? Use this adapter.

Typed on Git2Go

Blog Theme

New Look, More Functionality

Today I’m going live with a new theme for the blog. I’m really excited about the new look, and even more excited about the new functionality that the new theme offers. I loved the old look and feel, but it was time for a facelift. There has also been a lot more I’d like the site to be able to do - the new theme can do it.

‘Theme’ is a misnomer in a lot of ways though - this is more like an entirely new site.

Since its inception 2 years ago, the blog has ran on Jekyll, hosted by Github Pages, running the theme ‘Beautiful Jekyll’. The new blog also runs Jekyll, and is based on ‘Feeling Responsive’ by Phlow. The core technology is the same, but there is a lot more going on under the hood with Feeling Responsive.

Feeling Responsive proved to be an excellent basis for the site. I’ve spent the past month making significant changes to the base Feeling Responsive theme, getting it dialed into something I’m really pleased with. By default, Feeling Responsive is a portfolio site with blog elements. I’ve spent many hours changing that default into a dedicated blog - including changes to the organization structure of the site, and how content is displayed and used. The theme as I have it now is suited to my workflow and how I want to blog.

I really enjoy digging into technical projects, getting down to the nuts and bolts of how something works, so this site refresh has been really enjoyable for me. If it weren’t for Open Source projects like this and services like Github Pages, I probably wouldn’t have a site. I’m thankful that developers are out there to build this stuff for weirdos like me to play with.

The new theme is significantly more sophisticated, with more an entirely new file structure, and significantly more powerful CSS driven by Foundation. The result gives the site many new ways to display content.


The blog now has 3 different layouts for content. Posts listed on the main page all use the same formatting, but the page for each post can display content in different ways as needed.

  • Normal Page
    This layout is the default for most posts. It displays content in the same width as on the main page. If the page has a header image, that is displayed in fullsize. Example

  • Fullwidth Page
    This layout is just like it says on the tin - fullwidth. This layout uses more horizontal space on the page, and will be used for posts where I want to give more size and focus for the content, especially pictures. Example

  • Video
    While the first two layouts are just slightly different versions of eachother, the Video layout is something entirely different. The video layout uses a white-on-black colorway and displays a fullwidth video, with a thin column for text. The layout really emphasizes the video content, and looks just killer. Example


The old blog just displayed content the same way, whether on a post’s dedicated page, or on the main page. The new site has several different ways of playing with headers. If I choose to use a header, on the main page it is displayed a thumbnail, and as a full sized image on the post’s page. Backgrounds and colors can also be added behind the header image if needed.

Header as seen on homepage

Header as seen on post page

Better Typography

The site now uses better looking fonts, and can display it in more powerful ways. For headers, Volkhov is used. For post content, the sans-serif Lato.


Blockquotes now support citations.

I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next. Steve Jobs

Inline Code Blocks

Rather than being limited to block code, the new site also supports inline code displays like this one.


I’ve long wanted footnotes on the site. With Feeling Responsive as a base, I can now include them. 1


Something I’m really excited for (and what was the driving reason for building a new site) is Galleries. On most Jekyll based sites, one is limited to the features offered by Markdown and simple HTML. The new site uses Foundation to do great things, including galleries. I’m super jazzed to use this going forward.

Categories & Metadata

The site now supports categories and tagging. I’m not making use of tagging, but I will be using Categories.

Current categories:

Posts that are assigned to a category also have navigation at the bottom of their pages to other posts in the same category.

Posts now have enhanced metadata. Previously only the date was displayed, now pages can have authors as well. At the moment it’s just me writing for the site, but if I have any guest authors in the future, I will be able to cite & link to them more effectively.

Archive & Teasers

The site now has a dedicated archive of all posts on the site. The archive also includes teasers about each post’s content.

Other Functions

The Feeling Responsive theme also has a ton of other great functionality for displaying content. In preparing this new site, I needed to convert all the old posts for use with the new site. There is so much untapped functionality here. The existing posts use some of it, but I’m really excited to make use of as many of these new features as I can with future posts on the site.

Update 12/08/2017

Comments have been added to the site using Disqus.

  1. Made you look. 

iOS vs Desktop Security

From Matthew Green in a piece called Secure Computing For Journalists:

I’m going to devote this post to providing the world’s simplest explanation of why, in the threat model of your typical journalist, your desktop machine isn’t very safe. And specifically, why you’re safer using a modern mobile device — and particularly, an iOS device — than just about any other platform.

Great explanation from Matthew about the large attack surface presented by a modern desktop machine, and how it compares to mobile devices that were built with security and limited application power in mind. The piece can hopefully explain to the layuser some of the mindfulness that’s needed to remain secure.

He puts it best here:

Classical (desktop and laptop) operating systems were designed primarily to support application developers. This means they offer a lot of power to your applications. An application like Microsoft Word can typically read and write all the files available to your account. If Word becomes compromised, this is usually enough to pwn you in practice. And in many cases, these applications have components with root (or Administrator) access, which makes them even more dangerous.
Modern phone operating systems like Android and iOS were built on a different principle. Rather than trusting apps with much power, each app runs in a “sandbox” that (mainly) limits it to accessing its own files. If the sandbox works, even a malicious application shouldn’t be able to reach out to touch other apps’ files or permanently modify your system. This approach — combined with other protections such as in-memory code signing, hardware secret storage and routine use of anti-exploitation measures — makes your system vastly harder to compromise.

[via Cryptography Engineering]

Typed on ErgoDox Test Board

Nintendo Switch Unboxing

I haven’t owned a Nintendo Console since the SNES. My first reaction when I saw the first Switch promo was: I want one.

The concept and execution here looks great. I haven’t been following the Switch too closely since the reveal, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

My main concern is the accessories. Seems like a lot is required outside of what comes in the main box.

[via Loop Insight]

Typed on Macbook

Share Notes With iCloud

I learned just yesterday that it’s possible to share notes (from iOS/macOS’ built-in Notes app) with others via iCloud. I’ve been aware of this functionality in Reminders for some time now, but I’m glad to know that it’s present in Notes as well.

My girlfriend has long maintained a shopping list, and I’ve always needed to defer to her to add items to the list. Now with iCloud notes sharing we’re both able to contribute to the list.

The steps to share a note are super simple:

  • Make a note of course, then tap the plus person icon.

  • Determine how to share the link. Your recipient must have an iCloud account. Obviously sharing via SMS or email is best for this.

  • Send the invite.

The party on the other side will see your note, and when tapping on it, the note will automatically open in and you’ll have fast syncing shared notes.

If in the future you need to add more people to the list, or remove someone’s access, just tap the plus person icon - people can be added, removed, or sharing can be stopped entirely from here.

Typed on Octopage